Alzheier's disease (AD) is the most
common form of dementia. Experimental and human studies linked AD
to obesity and diabetes, such that the brain abnormalities closely
resemble the effects of diabetes. Recently, we found correlations
between neurodegeneration and food preservatives or tobacco toxins.
Currently, we are examining how such agents promote aging and brain
degeneration. The student will have a choice of working with human
or animal samples to detect toxic effects of chronic preservative and/or
tobacco exposures that damage brain and other tissues when combined with
obesity. Basic laboratory techniques and organizational skills
will taught; this will help the student prepare for future employment or
advanced education. The student will learn tissue culture, which
is needed to test the main hypothesis. We will guide the student
with respect to poster and platform presentation of data generated over
the summer. The research may be continued during the next academic
This project involves the use of vertebrate animals.